Okike Nde Ife (Children of Light)
The Foundation of Igbo and World Spirituality
The willingness of peoples to come together can be said to depend largely on their education--education which can be defined as a deliberate system of culture promotion or course of instigation by which a person is forged to fit squarely into the society to which he or she belongs as a responsible citizen. In ancient times, even before schools existed, the purpose of education was to train members of a community in fundamental skills, approved beliefs, habits, customs, group traditions and religion peculiar to a community. Skills of defense from perceived enemies, farming, and shelter, which is in architecture, were included in the education of the youths of a group through their parents before the institution of formal schools. Folklore, proverbs, folksongs and oral traditions were powerful vehicles by which parents of ancient times conveyed and instilled education in their children. In a broad sense everything that is acquired in a life time: habits, knowledge, skills, interests, attitudes, personality, language, not merely by attending schools but by the totality of life time experience, is education. In other words, education concerns itself with all the capabilities and Habits acquired by a human as a member of society--making education simply culture promotion within a given community of human beings.
The culture of a nation or race is defined as the customs, information and skill, domestic and public life, in peace and war; religion, science and art, manifest in the transmission of past experiences to the new generation. Culture stems from every component of human existence, as a means by which a person adjusts to a given environment and expresses his or herself, as not learned by individual experience but socially, as tradition which is handed down, with language as the most important means of social transmission of culture. Culture is non-genetic. All that therefore which is non-biological but socially transmitted including the customs, history; arts; dances; philosophy; proverbs; religion; folksong; folklore; parables; language; military techniques; agricultural methods; architecture, and the political and economic system of a people is culture.
While culture is no substitute for life, it is the key to life. So that had we, all the years we had been beating about the bush of religion and politics in a wild goose chase for national/international unity, set our problem of unity upon the broad base of culture, we would have found in it the key to the solution of our problems of unity. For in the cultural evaluation of all the different human ethnic groups in the world. We would have found enough identical points in the personality and customs, history, language, social attitudes, habits, and traditional religious and socio-economic philosophies of the various racial/ethnic groups to convince that there are more cultural facts that should unite us than there are factors that differentiate us in this our paradise of Earth. For instance, the Nkomii teaches that ancient human society had Spiritual teachings that supported and sustained primordial traditional life. The similarities in the narration in the Nkomii, to the teachings and renditions of the recent religions of the book show an inter-cultural relationship between them. At that, from a religious perspective, the foundation of most world religion is derived from the same source.
Herein is the Source Fountain of Igbo and most World Spirituality
Nsibiri mbu (Text I)
In the beginning, Chineke (Chi the Creator), was, and is, in the heavens (Igwe) and Earth (Uwa), and all living things on the land and waters; and the land was one; the seas were one; the Spirit was in everything and it was good.
Chineke created the first man and his name was Ifenta (Iventa).
'Ife or Ive' in this name means light, and 'nta' means small or junior. For this, humanity is called 'Ndeife', meaning the 'children of light, whereby Chineke is the Supreme light of the universe while Ifenta is the junior light of the world, and Ifenta was in the image of Chineke and the first son.
Chineke created the first woman. She was beautiful and in the image of the Spirit, and Chineke said “Nkea bu Ada'm” ("This is my daughter”) and first daughters are called Ada'm, and Ifenta and Ada'm were the children of light.
Chineke said to them, “ I am, all seeing, all knowing and the creative force of the universe. All and Every energy flows from me. Know that I am the supreme light of the universe, and you, the junior light of the worlds”.
“You are my children. You cannot die. You have two selves, your spiritual self, which is your nmu? (soul), and is immortal like Me; this is your real self which is one with Me; it can never die. Your second self is the physical expression of your soul. This body can wither with age and time and collapse to allow your soul to assume a new physical frame to re-incarnate and continue its’ existence on earth.”
“Everything I have created, all the animals and the plants, are for your 'nmanma' (goodness) and well being. None is intended to harm you. If you mix them in their appropriate cosmic relationship, the result will always be to enhance your happiness on earth.”
“I, will not show you all at once how to use them because if I do, you would want to use them all up at once. But by trial and experience, you will be able to preserve and perpetuate your existence on this earth, which I, have made your primary home.
I give you power to mate, procreate to multiply yourselves and populate the worlds”.
“Meanwhile, I give you two fruits, nkoro and ekpa, to live on, until by trials and experience, you will be able to find out for yourselves the value of these things that I have created and how to use them to enhance your welfare on earth”.
“I will be with you always. Gi gezie nti n’ala, gi g’anu ikitiokpa ndanda”. (“If you listen carefully to the ground, you will hear the footstep of the ant”) This became the first proverb to Ifenta and Ada'm.
The Human Conscience
“If you listen carefully into your soul, you will hear my faint voice from within, telling you what to do or what not to do in your time of need; and what is right or wrong. My faint voice in you is your Chi, or Me in you.
“You will carry your Chi around with you as your guardian, telling you what is right or wrong in everything you do. Your Chi will be the presiding judge over your daily actions, with power to reward or punish instantaneously, or in delayed accumulation of retributive justice”.
“No one is created by Me to be destitute. Listen inwardly to yourself, identify who you are in terms of your Ikenga (Talent), then properly interpret and obey my faint voice in you, and you will be led by your Chi to the hallmark of your akaraka (destiny), which is ultimate happiness in life which you can achieve no matter your station in life”.
“Whatever your Chi tells you to do, do with all your heart, for as to each person, I give a best in one thing as a path to the fulfillment of the ultimate destiny of happiness from which my children of light shall derive happiness, consolation and peace of mind. So look into yourself, identify your ikenga (Talent), work with Me and all will be well”.
“Gi mee nma, gi nasa nmanma; gi mee njoo, gi nasa so njoo”.
“If you do good, you reap goodness, if you are evil, you reap evil. I have made it for your soul, which is one with Me and immortal, to never die but to re-incarnate in a new body and continue its existence on earth. But if you do good or evil in your life, you will reap what you have sown or reincarnate in your next life to reap My retribution, in human or a lower level of existence”.
“I, created you in My image and gave you life and I alone have the right to take it back. You shall not kill or enslave and my retribution is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”.
“ Do not forget who I am and do not forget the things that I have given to you to make you who you are. My spirit is with you. Live in peace”.
Nsibiri abuo (Text 2)
The Origin of the Shrines in Okebulani (Africa)
Uzo nke Chineke
The Seven Lights From One
Ifenta and Adam were awed by the wonderful works of Chineke milling around them. The sun rose in the morning and there was light. The sun set in the evening and there was darkness. They saw the plants and animals they had dominion over, their spirit lifted and they glorified the name of Chineke.
And it came to pass that one day, Seven glorious lights appeared in the heaven, heralding the glory of the Seven divine paths to distil the Grace and blessings of Chineke, and divine inspiration lifted Ifenta and Adam. "We have been shown the path to call on and distill the particular Grace of Chineke that we seek. Let us build Shrines to the glory of Chineke".
Ifenta said to Adam, "Let us first build a Shrine with the Sun as the symbol of the Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Immortality and Magnificence of Chineke". They built the Shrine and it was and forever shall be 'Anyanwu'. They poured a libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They built the Shrine to symbolize Chineke's truth, justice, fairness and good conscience in the soul; and it was and forever shall be
'Ofo na Ogu'. They poured libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They built the Shrine to represent the Wisdom of Chineke, to aid them in their quest for good health and the wisdom to elongate
and perpetuate their existence on Earth and it was and forever shall be 'Agwunsi'. They poured a Libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They built the Shrine to seek the protection of Chineke from evil, and to seek justice: and it was and forever shall be 'Kamalu'. They pour a libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They built the Shrine of Ala (Ani), Mother Earth, to distil the Grace of Chineke regarding morality. They poured a libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They built the Shrine to distill the Grace of Chineke's milk of kindness to continuously flow to suckle and sustain their life and those of their descendants. And it was and forever shall be 'Ekwuru Ochie na Imo Nmiri'. They poured a libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They built the shrine to distill the grace of Chineke regarding the totality of vegetation, with emphasis on agricultural vegetation. And it was, and forever shall be 'Fijioku'.
They poured libation glorifying the name of Chineke.
They ascribed the seven glorious lights of the heavens to the shrines and behold, the Shrines are, and forever shall be, the Seven Paths to receive the Grace of Chineke. On the eight day, the Children of Light rested.
The Philosophy and Meaning of Names in Igbo Culture.
And it came to pass that Ifenta and Adam procreated and began populating the Earth and their descendants were named to the glory of Chineke.
Chidozie (Chido or Dozie)
Olisadi (Olisa or Sadi)
Onyemaechi - (Onyema or Amaechi)
Tobechi (Tobe or Tochi)
Udodiri (Udo or Diri)
Uwamaka (Uwa or Amaka)
Grace of God
God is good
God is merciful
God will keep me
God is mighty
God has done a lot for me
My God is alive
God will solve problems
God answered (my prayer, etc.)
God answers my prayers
God is my guide
God works for me
God is the greatest
Truth is on my side
The face of good Luck
The power of God
The strength of my Father
Divinity of God
This is how I re-incarnated
Give thanks to God
God's blessing is the greatest
Gift from God
The future is greater
My father is around
The beauty of life is greater
God's time is best
The Spirit is (In me, in all things)
The work or miracle of God
Divine truth is greater than evil
Who is greater than God
Who knows the future/tomorrow
Go with God
Let there be peace
The glory that God gave
Jewel from God
The world is beautiful
The path to the future is beautiful
And there was a rumbling in the heavens and heavy rain for seven days and seven nights. Then the sun rose in its full majesty, pouring forth the divine Seven Lights of Chineke upon the earth and on the Children of Light, and there was peace on our paradise.